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A simple linear model of the depth dependence of the wind-driven variability of the Meridional Overturning Circulation

Killworth, P.D.. 2008 A simple linear model of the depth dependence of the wind-driven variability of the Meridional Overturning Circulation. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 38 (2). 492-502. https://doi.org/10.1175/2007JPO3811.1

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Abstract/Summary

The part of the meridional overturning circulation driven by time-varying winds is usually assumed to be an Ekman flux within a mixed layer, and a depth- and laterally independent return flow beneath. For a simple linear frictional ocean model, the return flow is studied for a range of frequencies from several days to decades. It is shown that while the east–west integral of the return flow is usually, but not always, almost independent of depth, the spatial distribution of the return flow varies strongly with both horizontal and vertical position. This can have important consequences for calculations of the northward heat flux, which traditionally assumes a spatially uniform return flow.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1175/2007JPO3811.1
ISSN: 0022-3670
Date made live: 19 Mar 2008 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/150750

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